The very good offshore fishing for sea bass is being shut down with the New Year, along with the winter flounder angling that's been producing two-fish limits from the Belmar docks. The Gambler from Point Pleasant reported their last offshore wreck trip produced good fishing for big sea bass plus some porgies and bluefish.
The NJ DEP issued the following information relative to the bonus striped bass program Striped Bass Bonus Program Information Effective 12 00 AM, Sunday, January 1, 2017, the 2016 Striped Bass Bonus Program will close for individuals and party charter boats. The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will provide information regarding 2017 applications for individual anglers and Party Charter Boat Owners once a decision is announced.
Only Option 1 provides for 18 inches -- but with a limit of just two fish and a season of merely 59 days that would doom much of the state's party boat fleet. Tom Fote, N. J. ASMFC Governor's Appointee, feels that even the best (Option 5 with a coastwise 128-day season of three fish at a 19-inch minimum) probably won't make the required reduction.
The following press release was issued today by the DEP Rich Boornazian, Assistant Commissioner, Natural and Historic Resources, at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is announcing a reorganization plan for the state's Division of Fish Wildlife which includes new appointments in the Division, along with a special assignment to seek additional revenue sources to support the Division's mission. Upon Mr. Chanda's assumption of this position in early 2017, long-time division veteran Larry Herrighty will become Acting Director of Fish and Wildlife, pending the recommendation of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council.
Following is the background information Draft Addendum XXVIII was initiated to consider alternative management approaches for the 2017 recreational summer flounder fisheries, while also seeking to address needed reductions due to a decrease in the coastwide RHL in 2017. Anglers and interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on Draft Addendum XXVIII either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment.
It's hard to believe that I'm still talking about bluefin tuna anywhere north of N. C. on Christmas Eve, but N. Y. skipper John McMurray had two hooked up on Friday -- though both were lost. They hope for a return to the previously good blackfishing on Monday.
The Gambler from Point Pleasant ran off 70 miles on Thursday to load up with sea bass and porgies plus a few big ling. Bill Roha of Whippany had a sea bass limit plus 35 porgies, a bluefish and a small pollock.